Extreme Video Nasties: Movies 1 to 5

Our Countdown of Movies "Unfit for Domestic Viewing".
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Horror Extreme - Video Nasties

Video Nasty is a term used to describe a movie that was unfit for domestic viewing in the UK in the 1980's. The majority of these Video Nasties were low budget horror movies produced in the USA and Italy. The uproar driven by these horror and exploitation flicks let to the introduction of the UK's Video Recording Act of 1984 which made the censorship laws with regards to video's stricter that that imposed on cinema releases. This led to a number of video's being banned in the UK.

The Last House on the Left (released with 31s cut in 2003)

The Last House on the Left - Exploitation Movie directed by Wes Craven

This Video Nasty was refused a certificate for UK cinema release by the BBFC in 1974 due to its scenes of torture and extreme violence. During the 1980's the movie was released uncut until The Video Nasty act of 1984, at which point the movie was banned!

The story takes place in a quiet suburban town where Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel) is celebrating her birthday, with a friend (Lucy Grantham), by going to a rock concert in New York. While trying to score some dope the two girls are kidnapped by a group of escaped felons and led into the woods for rape, torture, humiliation and finally murder. After leaving the girls for dead the criminals seek shelter for the night with a hospitable couple who just happen to be the parents of Mari. Mari's Mother (Cynthia Carr) becomes suspicious and exacts her revenge on the felons.

The Driller Killer (re-released uncut in 1999)

The Driller Killer - directed by Abel Ferrara

Due to the release of a number of graphic horror movies Driller Killer was labelled a Video Nasty and was banned. Being labelled a Video Nasty gave Driller Killer a cult status, even though it was strongly criticized by a number of horror movie critics.

The story centres around Reno Miller (Abel Ferrara), an artist struggling to make ends meet. He shares an apartment with his girlfriend Carol (Carolyn Marz) and her friend Pamela (Baybi Day) with a punk rock band living upstairs. The noise of the band and his failing relationship with Carol exacerbates his already apparent madness, until he finally snaps and begins using an electric drill to murder the homeless. After the rejection of his masterpiece by the head of an art gallery he soon starts putting his drill to work on the people in his life.

The Evil Dead (re-released uncut in 2001)

The Evil Dead - directed by Sam Raimi

This Video Nasty is more of a traditional horror movie than an exploitation movie but because of its graphic violence, the original version of the movie was banned in several countries. In Germany, the movie's release was hindered by public authorities for almost 10 years. The original 1982 video release of the movie had been seized, making the movie a hit on the black market video circuit with pirated copies widely available.

Five college students venture into the woods to spend a weekend in a cabin. Instead, they find horror in the form of the Book of the Dead. They find and play a tape recording of demonic incantations from the book, resurrecting the demons hell bent revenge. One by one the students are possessed by the evil force in horrific and gory ways. The movie is then focussed on the last survivor, Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he is tortured by the evil spirits.

Don't Look in the Basement (original title: The Forgotten - released uncut in 2005 with a 15 rating)

Don't Look in the Basement - directed by S.F. Brownrigg

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove a shot of an axe buried in a nurse's body and the movie later found itself on the banned list of video nasties

The new nurse Charlotte (Rosie Holotik) arrives at the isolated Stephens Sanitarium for her first day of work only to find that Dr Stepehen's has been murdered by a patient. The unorthodox practises put in place by Dr. Stephens, the strange behaviour of Dr. Masters and the increasingly violent behaviour of the patients soon drives Charlotte to probe deeper into the workings of the sanitarium and she soon discovers why she can't leave and no outsiders can come in!

Zombie Flesh Eaters (original title: Zombi 2 - re-released uncut in 2005)

Zombie Flesh Eaters aka Zombi 2 -  directed by Lucio Fulci

Despite the massive popularity of the movie, Zombie Flesh Eaters aka Zombi 2 was banned in the UK due to the massive gore content and labelled a Video Nasty. The movie became infamous in the horror genre for a scene where a character has her eye gouged out on a splintered piece of wood very slowly and painfully. This scene was edited from many previous releases.

A young woman named Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow) is questioned by the police when it is discovered that a boat that floated into New York harbour, belonged to her father (Ugo Bologna). She knows that her father left for a tropical island to do research and decides to investigate with the help of a reporter named Peter West (Ian McCulloch). Anne and Peter find a note from her father on the boat saying that he is on the island of Matool and that he has come down with a strange disease. Anne and Peter enlist the aid of a seafaring couple, Brian Hull (Pier Luigi Conti) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Giannone), to help find Matool.They soon discover Matool is a cursed place where the dead rise to attack the living. When Anne, Peter, Brian, and Susan reach Matool, the island itself seems to come alive with the dead buried on the island.
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